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Where stars are born

Everyone in the Lehigh Valley has heard of Amanda Seyfried, the 2003 William Allen graduate and overnight sensation who broke through with her starring role in 2008's feature film "Mamma Mia!" and in 2012 landed the coveted role of Cosette in the film based on the musical, "Les Miserables."

But overnight sensations usually work years honing their skills and talents and Seyfried is no exception. What people may not know is Seyfried has been working since she was 11-years-old and got her start right here in the Lehigh Valley with Look Models and Actors Agency, 687 E. Broad St., Bethlehem.

Look, formerly Pro Model and Casting, works with clients in an approximate three-hour radius of Bethlehem and puts them together with local models and actors. Clients can be either corporate, advertising or film-makers. Look models can appear in print ads, magazines, brochures and on web pages, billboards and even ticket stubs. Depending on the client's needs, actors can appear on television, film or video.

Laurie Bianco, owner of Look, says her company has two divisions: fashion models and lifestyle: "Our lifestyle models and actors can be anywhere from eight-months-old to 95-years-old and every height, weight and ethnic group.

"Our roster includes models and actors who reflect the general population."

In fact, when I visited the Look office and studio, Bianco was looking for an actor who weighed between 350 and 400 pounds for a client who makes chair elevators and wanted to demonstrate their strength.

"We even rwepresent animals," Bianco says. This interests me very much as I have a cat who needs a job. But when I pitched him, Bianco demurred, saying, "Cats are hard."

Fashion models, unlike lifestyle models, have more stringent requirements. "They have to be photogenic, which we can get a sense of just from the snapshots they send in with their applications.

"And they have to be easy to work with no one likes a prima donna and smart," meaning the ability to take direction on a photo shoot. In child models, Look talent manager Erica Harris looks for children who don't hide behind their mother.

Look will mentor children with star quality, steering them to voice lessons, acting lessons and teleprompter lessons. When Look represents a model or actor with exceptional potential, they will become the mother agency, taking the model to New York City to find representation with more international reach.

Bianco is a Muhlenberg College graduate who majored in Business and minored in Psychology.

After a stint as a model, Bianco decided to work the business from the other side of the fence and founded Pro Model and Casting in the 1980s which was the casting agent for the very popular in 147 countries television series, "Forensic Files:"

Bianco re-branded her agency two years ago as Look to expand career possibilities for her stable of actors and models.

Look has an office at 5 S., Main St., Doylestown, and is looking to open an office in Washington, D.C.

Information: lookmodelsandactors. com, 484-821-0909